More light is being shed on the brutal quadruple murder that shocked America’s heartland this week — but the victims’ families are far from getting a full picture.
As law enforcement continues to investigate the homicides of Ethan Chapin and Xana Kernodle (both 20) and Madison Mogen and Kaylee Goncalves (both 21), all students at the University of Idaho, a timeline of events is beginning to take shape.
Video footage from the Twitch page of Moscow’s GrubTrucker food truck show Mogen and Goncalves placing an order at the establishment on Saturday night before greeting a few friends, which you can see (below):
— John Webb (@johnwebbtv) November 16, 2022
According to Latah County Prosecutor Bill Thompson via the Associated Press, the Moscow Police Department are currently reviewing the footage and “in the process of identifying the other people who were there and what sort of contact did they have.”
This is a significant piece of the tragic night’s puzzle, offering investigators a bit of insight into what happened and when.
During a Wednesday press conference, Police Chief James Fry explained that all four roommates arrived back at their off-campus home some time after 1:45 a.m. — Chapin and Kernodle were at a party, Mogen and Goncalves had a night out at the bar. They were then slain “some time in the early morning hours of Sunday, November 13.”
In an unexpected addition to the story, Fry also revealed there were in fact two other roommates home during the time of the murders, who were not injured.
WHAT?! They HAD to be aware of what was going on considering how violent officials say the crime scene was… right??
While details regarding these two mystery roommates are slim, authorities assure the press they are being cooperative. But they won’t say more than that at this time.
In fact, the police have been trying to keep as much of this quiet as possible, and not just to the general public. The families are being kept in the dark, too. The hushed nature of the investigation is not sitting right with Ethan’s father, Jim Chapin, who expressed to CNN Thursday:
“There is a lack of information from the University of Idaho and the local police, which only fuels false rumors and innuendo in the press and social media. The silence further compounds our family’s agony after our son’s murder. For Ethan and his three dear friends slain in Moscow, Idaho, and all of our families, I urge officials to speak the truth, share what they know, find the assailant, and protect the greater community.”
Kaylee’s younger sister, Autumn Goncalves (above, inset with Kaylee) confirmed Wednesday the suspect is in fact still at large, writing on her Instagram:
“No one is in custody and therefore no one is safe. Whoever did this … is still out there and if he is sick enough to murder FOUR sweet, innocent humans so brutally, he is sick enough to do it to anyone else.”
That’s a really fair point. Police said they think this was personal — but they don’t really know. If you remember, Moscow PD noted there was “no ongoing threat” Sunday, as Fry speculated the attack to be targeted, but Autumn disagrees with the (lack of) warning. She added:
“Please get your loved ones home. How police say ‘no threat’ MAKES NO SENSE. My sisters (Maddie and Kaylee) did everything right. They went out together. They locked their doors. Our family was dreading the answer for ‘how’ and we all knew that no matter the answer, we wouldn’t like it, but we got back the worst possible answer. The most gruesome way. One person against four. This person is dangerous and he is not in custody!!!”
In the first press conference about the brutal murders, they did say it could even have been a robbery gone bad. Autumn is right, it seems like they don’t know enough to ensure there isn’t an ongoing threat.
If this wasn’t all enough, Fox News claimed Wednesday that the brutal murders, which investigators reportedly believe to be done with a “Rambo-style knife” comes two months after the Vandal campus community were warned back in SEPTEMBER of a “threat with a knife.” The September 12 warning read:
“The Moscow Police Department received a report that a group of students was walking between the Steam Plant parking lot (Lot #14) and the Student Recreation Center on Paradise Path and were threatened by a person with a knife.”
Wait, what?! Could this be the same person? Seems like quite a coincidence if not. We mean, this isn’t NYC we’re talking about, it’s Moscow, Idaho. How many knife threats do they really get? The assailant in that case was described as a white man between the ages of 18 and 22, who was dressed in all black. Fry has not yet established a direct link, noting:
“We’re following every lead. We are looking into everything.”
This is all EXTREMELY troubling stuff. We just hope the tragedy can be pieced together sooner rather than later, so the families can have justice — and feel safe again.
[Image via Autumn Goncalves/Instagram.]